Benjamin Fox Tracy Successfully Prosecutes Contempt Motion, Securing Fines Exceeding $300,000, Including Attorney’s Fees, Against Neighbor Refusing to Comply With Court-Ordered License

The petitioner, a non-profit developer of an affordable housing project in Bronx County, obtained a court-ordered license to install certain protections on the respondent’s adjacent property.  These protections included the installation of a controlled access zone, which restricted any pedestrian from entering a portion of the respondent’s property while the petitioner was performing work overhead along the shared property line.  The respondent refused to implement the controlled access zone as per the Court’s order and allowed its workers to enter the controlled access zone while the petitioner was performing work overhead, violating the Court’s order and the New York City Building Code.  Without the controlled access zone in place, the petitioner was forced to halt work along the shared property line for ten working days.  The petitioner sought an order of contempt against the respondent, seeking to compel the respondent’s compliance with the Court’s order and seeking damages for the work stoppage.  After a hearing was held on the issue of contempt, the Court fined the respondent (i) $210,449.14 for the petitioner’s actual losses incurred during the ten-day work stoppage period and (ii) $97,234.50 for the attorney’s fees incurred by the petitioner for successfully prosecuting the contempt motion.  The Court further directed the respondent to comply with the Court’s previous order granting the petitioner the requested access to install protections on the respondent’s property necessary to complete the affordable housing project.

A copy of the decision is accessible here.